Lexington is holding out against pressure to allow service stations to post prices on digital signs, as is common elsewhere in the Midlands.
Town leaders shelved an industry request last week to ease a ban on that, amid concern that any change could inadvertently invite in more animated signs that distract drivers.
“Our concern is it’s opening the door for people to come and push the envelope,” Mayor Randy Halfacre said Monday.
Town leaders aren’t comfortable yet with allowing digital and animated signs, banned since 1998 as part of a series of appearance guidelines.
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“We don’t want to open up new problems that no one expects,” said Councilwoman Hazel Livingston, who designed the 14-year-old commercial sign standards for the steadily growing community of 18,000 residents.
Those signs are “the wave of the future,” Halfacre said. “Over time, we’ll look at it as technology changes, but we’re not ready to wade into that yet.”
Service station operators say it’s easier and safer to adjust prices using computers indoors, rather than going outdoors to change plastic numerals.
Town leaders told industry representatives their request will be reconsidered if a change can be tailored only for their signs.
For now, Town Hall is content to stay with “yesterday’s technology,” Halfacre said.